In February we dealt with the very emotional topic of infant and pregnancy loss. Statistically, 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in loss. It is estimated that pregnancy and infant loss affects 750,000 families annually. Frankly I found this number staggering.
It was three years ago this month that I experienced the devastating pain of miscarriage first hand. We had recently moved to be closer to family, but I had not yet built a group of mom friends in our new city. I shared with my closest friends our loss, but of the few of my friends with kids—thankfully—none of them had experienced pregnancy loss. I felt I had nowhere to turn with my emotional pain.
Every families’ experience with loss is different, but many suffer in silence. My friend Jessica is a firm believer that sharing our experiences and talking about our loss is a big step in the healing process. I knew she had to share her story with our MOPS group. In January of 2018 Jessica and her husband were excited to welcome their third child; but little Oaklyn’s time on Earth was short. After ten hours, her parents held her for the first time without wires or tubes and then handed her over to Jesus. Since then, they have worked faithfully to support the pregnancy and infant loss community through their foundation. Their message is one of faith, praise and drawing nearer to the anchor of our souls, even in life’s storms. You can learn more about their work at www.oaklynfoundation.com .
The Oaklyn Foundation is doing so much for the pregnancy and infant loss community by giving a voice to these families. But everything they are doing, in done with love and FAITH. The best illustration of this, was Jessica’s vision of her entrance to heaven. She quickly realized losing Oaklyn was a defining moment in her life and it would go one of two ways. Either she would allow its bitterness to take hold or she could live by faith. She chose to let it strengthen her faith. Upon entering the gates of heaven, she hopes to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” The gates part and she sees her child running toward her.
As an angel mom, the image of seeing and hugging my child for the first time in heaven was what finally brought me peace. But I will be honest, it took me a long time to work through my grief. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 was particularly consoling, which shares that there is a time for everything. I am especially soothed by verse 4, that there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Eventually I found myself focusing on Ecclesiastes 3:11, and accepted that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” If you are working through your own experience with grief, I pray you find acceptance, hope and a way to continue to live faithfully.